Michael almost fell through the door in his hurry to enter the model home.
‘’Piece of shi-,’’. No,….no. These houses were ‘ideal for flippers’ and people who ‘wanted a foundation to build their dream house on’. These were…. decent homes. He could not sell this if he didn’t believe it himself. He wasn’t a liar.
He just really needed these potential buyers to buy that. The truth, of course. And the home.
As Michael entered the kitchen to spray some fresh baked cookie smell out of a can, he wondered how serious these buyers were going to be. He hadn’t had anyone interested in Bluth homes for months. It was kind of spooky to have this sudden interest from people, who apparently hadn’t something searched the Bluth-name. Nevertheless, this place needed to be the best version of itself that it could be.
Rounding the corner into the living room, Michael nearly had a heart attack.
‘’Jesus, Gob, could you not leave your creepy racist puppet hanging around?’’ He muttered to himself, walking over to the couch to remove Franklin. He had texted his brother to leave the house, if he was even there. Who knew where Gob hung out all the time. But it would be just Michael’s luck if he was ruining this already garb-….ehm, great home, yeah. It was just like Gob too, leaving his dumb puppet here.
-‘’What ya talkin’ ‘bout, my man?’’
Michael nearly fell over when he heard ‘Franklin’ talk.
‘’Really, Gob? Are you trying to give me a heart attack?’’ Dusting himself off, he stood up straight and looked around for his brother. ‘’I thought I told you to get out of here! There are some potential buyers coming to look at this place in an hour! I don’t have time for this.’’
-‘’How's it goin', brotha!’’
Michael sighed as he rubbed his forehead, feeling a headache coming up. ‘’Right. Okay, Gob? Can you come out please? You don’t actually think I believe your stupid puppet is talking on his own, do you?’’. He frowned as he looked at Franklin. His lips weren’t moving, so Gob wasn’t hidden in the couch or anything. But his voice was clear enough to not be too far away.
-‘’Hey man, I aint no dummy, you @#$%#!’’
Michael rolled his eyes and started looking around for Gob. ‘’You really need to update your slang, Gob.’’
Walking around the model home, there was no Gob hiding out behind couches or chairs and also nowhere in the kitchen or by the stairs. ‘’I can’t believe I’m being forced to play hide and seek with my adult brother…’’ Michael murmured under his breath.
-‘’Man, what's the mattah wit you?’’
Mmh. The voice was definitely coming from the couch. Michael walked back over to Franklin. He inspected the motionless puppet. He never realized how creepy that doll actually was. With those wide eyes and huge mouth. Or maybe it was just the vibe of being alone in the model home, here out in the middle of nowhere. No civilization for miles. It was already getting dark outside too, and Michael wasn’t too sure if the lighting all worked properly in here. He just hoped the buyers were going to be on time.
Funny, he had been here thousands of times, so why this place was giving him the shivers now was a mystery to him. Or maybe it was the lack of central heating. Whatever.
Suddenly it dawned on Michael as he resisted the urge to slap himself on the head. He was being stupid. He grabbed his phone out of his pocket, looking if he had any service for once. He exhaled a sigh of relief as he dialed Gob’s number. Putting the phone to his ear, he looked around, ready to hear Gob’s ringtone reveal his hiding place. To his amazement though, Gob picked up.
‘’Michael! What’s up?’’, Gob’s voice coming out of the speaker and not from somewhere in the house.
Michael frowned, walking through the house to see if Gob voice wasn’t really coming from some place in here. ‘’Gob? Where the hell are you? I’m really getting tired of this!’’
There was a short silence on the other end of the line. ‘’What are you talking about Mikey? You told me to get out, so I’m out! I thought you’d be pleased for once..’’
Michael stopped in his tracks. His brother sounded sincere. And he was NOT that great of an actor. But how could that be?
He turned around, speeding back towards the living room. There was an explanation for this, there had to be!
‘’Michael? Michael are you there?’’ Gob’s voice came out of the receiver.
Rounding the corner, heart in his throat, Michael walked over to the couch…..but Franklin wasn’t there.
Suddenly, he heard a voice behind him. ‘’Lookin’ for me?’’ As he slowly turned around, lowering his phone, Franklin was sitting on the bar. Michael felt a little faint. No. Had he been imagining things? Had Franklin really been on the couch in the first place? Maybe the stress was messing with his mind.
He slowly walked up to Franklin, but the puppet didn’t say anything and sat perfectly still. He bent over to look at Franklin up close, looking for any mics or speakers or any gimmicks that would explain all of this.
As his face was next to Franklin’s, he suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder.
Whipping around, he expected Gob, but no one was there. He looked back at Franklin. Did he always have a frown? Wasn’t he smiling most of the time?
‘’Michael!’’ Gob’s voice came out of his phone, bringing him out of his thoughts.
Slowly bringing his phone to his ear, he carefully said: ‘’Gob….I need you to be 100% honest with me for once…..Is this one of your tricks?’’ He locked eyes with Franklin.
There was a short silence on the other end of the line. ‘’No Michael….I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I’m not doing any tricks!’’
Michael dropped the phone as Franklin’s eyes turned red and he suddenly leaped from his place at the bar.
A horrid scream was heard miles away. A couple decided to turn their car around. This was obviously not a good neighborhood to buy a house in.
Next time on Arrested Development…
‘’…..I’m doing illusions!’’ Gob exclaimed, appearing in a cloud of smoke in the model home.
But his extravagant entrance was lost on his brother, who was out cold on the floor.
‘’Oh shi-…’’ Gob bended over to inspect both of his brothers, Franklin lying motionless next to Michael.
‘’Guess I made the motor a tiny bit too fast on you, Franklin. Knocked Michael out cold.’’ He shrugged as he picked Franklin up and stepped over Michael, heading towards the stairs.
‘’Back to the drawing board, Franklin! A little tweaking and I can finally combine my magic and ventriloquist/singing career!’’ Gob smiled a little as he thought about all the added audience it would bring. The applause would be amazing. He whistled a tune that sounded eerily like 'it aint easy', as he hurried up the stairs to get his notebook, Franklin tossed over his shoulder. This was going to be amazing! And when Michael woke up, he would think so too!
Franklin’s eyes turned a shade of red as dusk set in…